October 12, 2011

Columbus Day at the Westfield Mall

On Columbus Day I headed to the nearby mall to see if XXI Forever (a brand of Forever 21) had Native-themed fashions on sale. Here's what I saw:

Walking in Culver City XVII--October 12, 2011

"Native" fashions at XXI Forever. The second mannequin is wearing a fringed vest.

I heard they were having a Columbus Day sale and wanted to see if they'd put the Native fashions next to the signs. Alas, I didn't see any signs. The sale probably was Oct. 10, not today.

Blame the poor quality of the photo on my trying to snap it when no one was looking.

Perhaps 10% of the store's lines included Native and jungle prints. That's enough to be noticeable.

If you didn't get the message from the tribal prints near the animal prints, here it is in one item. Zigzag Native lines AND spotted jungle fur. Unleash your wild 'n' savage side with this indigenous-inspired fashion!

Bonus: At the nearby Disney shop. Another poor quality photo taken in haste.

Note the sexy Pocahontas nestled between a Snow White costume, Cinderella, and Princess Tiana.

Which one is a pre-adolescent girl who wasn't royalty and had no romantic involvement with anyone until she married an Englishman several years later?

This is what passes for Native culture in mainstream America: tribal fashions, sexy Pocahontases, and idiots in headdresses. Which makes it even funnier that some people deny the effect of Native stereotypes. Fashion is nothing but seeing what's popular ("in fashion") and copying it. Each stereotype propagates other stereotypes like waves in a pond.

For more on the subject, see Media Covers Urban Outfitters Controversy and Neo-Navajo Fashion Trend.

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